Two and a half years ago I started having bad depression and severe, obscure paranoia.

I believed everyone looking at me wanted me dead, and that not even my own family was trusted. I firmly believed they would kill me, so I hid knives in my room and carried them around. My anxiety was very intense and caused me to avoid all social events, I just wanted to stay isolated and I wanted to be dead.

Everyday I was feeling worthless and didn’t sleep due to paranoia.

I waited to see if it would all just go away but my thoughts still haunt me with violent impulses, fear, and intense emotional episodes. Sometimes I get overly confident in myself, I become very selfish and ill-tempered. I can’t control myself at all and it feels like people in my head are feeding me poisonous thoughts.

I talk to myself for hours at a time. and I don’t feel that anything is strange but some of my friends say they were afraid of me.

One moment I’m happy the next I could be crying for no reason at all, hurting myself to try and calm down while wishing I were dead.

I can’t control those thoughts, they’re always reminding me how pathetic, heartless and sick I am. To me life is meaningless, and I can’t find joy in anything anymore. Like my mind is forever stuck in a void of never ending confusion, delusions. and horrors. I feel that nothing is worth living for. I can’t die because I’m afraid everyone will know what kind of selfish maniac I’ve become, and my mother might lose it.

I can’t calm from panic attacks unless I cut or hurt myself, and the scares are faint but are everywhere.

Therapists terrify me, one moment I feel hopeful and share about my issues… but the next I immediately regret it and begin panicking, thinking they’ll betray me and use my weakness against me. Then the thoughts come and they tell me I have no future, that I’m wasting my parent’s money and time.

The violent and vivid thoughts of homicide come, and it scares me. I hate living with the guilt, I want to disappear. I don’t know what to do, I just want to end it before I ruin everything. I don’t know what’s going on with me.

A. You stated that this change occurred two and half years ago. The question becomes what happened two and half years ago? Perhaps it was an event or a noteworthy change in your life. The types of symptoms you have described usually don’t happen out of the blue. There is a physical or psychological cause and that must be determined.

Knowing the source of your symptoms is the first step in your treatment. There’s nothing to fear about therapists. They like to help people. For many, it is the sole reason why they choose to work as a professional. Give them a chance to help you.

Relatedly, you worry that therapists are going to use your “weakness against you” but what would this be? I am a therapist and I have detected nothing in your letter that indicates a weakness. That is likely something you fear to be true and not something that is true. You might believe in those misguided ideas, that unfortunately exist in our culture, about seeking help. There’s great value and wisdom in seeking help from professionals who are trained to know how to solve life problems. You should give it a try.

I would strongly encourage you to continue therapy if you have started and to try it if you have not, for all the reasons that I have described above. Your symptoms are treatable. if you are open to treatment, but they most likely will continue if you ignore them. Contact emergency services if you cannot keep yourself safe. They will protect you. Thank you for your question. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle